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Johnson 12, Kelly 9, Us 5, Arizona 5, Tucson 4, Minnesota 4, Maryland 4, Baltimore 4, New York 3, United States 3, Washington 3, Hawaii 2, Jared Loughner 2, Feinstein 2, Chicago 2, Phoenix 2, U.s. 2, Mr. Lapierre 2, Afghanistan 1, Austin 1,
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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    January 31, 2013
    6:00 - 7:00am EST  

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ths said that firearms used in crimes, 1.9% of those firearms come from gun shows. in response to this crime, this body does not act to enact anti-crime legislation to prevent violent crimes. instead, it targets 1.9% of the guns, and a substantial portion of those guns were sold by licensed firearm dealers who already conducted a background check. even that 1.9%, a substantial portion, are already subject to a background check. i would ask, if we have a second round, to get into the effectiveness or lack thereof of this. >> i will leave the record open for questions here. because of the schedule this afternoon, we may not have a second round, but i will leave the record open. i have questions, but we probably will not have time. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you to all the witnesses, especially you, captain kelly. thanks to your beautiful wife, and i mean that in every way. my wife, frannie, and i were heartbroken for the families in newtown, tucson, for those of you listening or watching this hearing in newtown, i want you to know that minnesotans have you in our thoughts and prayers, and we share in your grief. we shared it when we lost lives at a sign factory. maya is here. she lost her father. we share it every time we bury
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one of our sons or daughters. i know that a group of students from redlake reservation in minnesota, students who lost their classmates to gun violence, made the 1500-mile trip to newtown just a few days before christmas just to let them know that they are not alone. we are all in this together. over the past month or so, i have been talking to my constituents about how to make our communities safer. i traveled safely with hunters and school officials, with law enforcement officers, with mental health experts.
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i have convened roundtable discussions and i have had many, many conversations. i have learned is that there is a balance to be struck here. we can honor the second man and -- the second amendment and we can honor the menace of a -- the minnesota culture of responsible gun ownership while taking basic measures that will make our kids and our communities safer. so i have co-sponsored a bill to limit the number of rounds and magazine. i co-sponsored a bill to require background checks at gun shows. i have co-sponsored senator feinstein's bill to ban assault weapons. i am reviewing legislation to address gun trafficking. i have supported funding for law enforcement programs and i work every day to carry out the work pauol wallstone does to repair our mental health system.
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tomorrow i will introduce the mental health and school act which will improve access to mental health care for kids. catching these issues at an early age is really important. i want to be careful here -- illness. the vast majority of people with mental illness are no more violent than the rest of the population. in fact, they are more likely to be the victims of violence. these recent events have caused us as a nation to scrutinize our failed mental healt and system and i'm glad we're talking about this and a serious way. -- in a serious way. police chief johnson, i met with some mothers from the mountain view school district in minnesota whose children's lives and their own lives were changed for the better because their kids got access to mental
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health care that they needed at an early age. they got treatment. their lives are improving and their moms lives are improving. as a community leader and law think it will benefit our communities if we are able to use schools to improve access to mental health care? >> i applaud your initiatives and your work, senator. the answer is absolutely. the father with a child that has mental health issues i think is -- it is absolutely essential. if my aunt child has access to medical care she needs but the record shows and reflex that nearly half the children and adults in this nation who are diagnosed with mental health issues and not have access to the care they need and it gets even worse after the age of 18.
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we are seeing this in crimes of violence and in crimes across our nation and in my jurisdiction. it is a major problem and i do recognize that most people with mental health issues do not go on to commit violent crimes. however, we have seen over and over again, it seems to be a common thread or theme or issue that we must deal with. >> again, police chief johnson, i have heard from some gun owners who are worried that congress will outlaw features that they really like in guns, things like pistol grips and barrel shroud is and threaded barrels. some say that these features are merely cosmetic. it seems to me that a lot of these features are not just cosmetic, they are functional.
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can you and explain why a pistol grip in the right place makes a functional difference, why it is not just a piece of plastic? why are collapsible stocks preventing danger. -- present a danger. why are some of the other features dangerous because i feel this is a crucial point? >> i agree completely. it is not just about the capacity of the weapon to handle numerous rounds. that is absolutely critical in this discussion. we believe no more than 10. we use that weapon with the police because of its technical capability. it has an ability to cool down and handled round after round after round. it has a rugged ability, meant for a combat or environment that one would be placed in facing adversaries, human
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beings, people. that weapon can be retrofitted with other devices to enhance your offensive capability. the weapon itself has features to adjusted, optics sites, for example, that can cost hundreds of dollars and i have shot this weapon many times. it would enhance our capability in various tactical maneuvers whether it is from the shoulder or the hip or whether you choose to spray fire the weapon or individually shoot from the shoulder. the optic sites are amazing. the technology advances that weapon as -- that weapon is the weapon of our time. that is where we find ourselves today and certainly, i believe, is meant for the battlefield and a public safety environment only.
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>> thank you. mr. chairman, before i yield my time, i would like to submit testimony of maya ronman who is here today lost her father in a shooting in september in minneapolis. i would like unanimous consent to submit your testimony for the record. -- her testimony for the record. >> as we indicated earlier, there will be other statements for the record and the record will be kept open for questions. i yield now to senator hatch. we will go to the next republican, senator hatch.
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>> i thank all of you for being here today. capt. kelly, i appreciate you and your wife and your testimony and your feelings very much. i appreciated much of your testimony. i am grateful you would take the time to be with us and that was wonderful to see your wife again. let me go to you, mr. lapierre. president obama has issued 23 executive actions on gun violence. can you discuss the commonality between your organization, the nra, and the obama administration when it comes to finding ways to reduce gun violence? >> what we think works, and we support what works. i've talked about the eagle child safety program which would put more money into than anybody in the country. we support enforcing the federal gun laws on the books
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were under% of the time against drug -- 100% of the time against a drug dealers, gangs with guns, felons with guns, and that works. you've got states like california where they send more inmates back to the streets and have to put more back in jail for new crimes guns -- committed against their citizens than any other state in the nation. new york state, too. the collapse of the fiscal situation in those states has also collapsed the criminal justice system in those states. the nra has always supported what works. we have 11,000 police instructors and we represent honest people all over this country. there are 25,000 violent crimes per week in this country. the innocent are being preyed upon. the statistics are numbing and 911 calls are horrible. victims all over the country want to be able to protect
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themselves. this whole debate almost puts it into two different categories. if you are in the elite, you get body cards, high-cap mags protecting this capital, the titans of industry dead body guards. -- debt the bodyguards, whoever they want. anyway. they get what they want and in the middle is the hard work of law abiding taxpaying american that we will make the least capable of defending themselves. we will say you can have a bold action rival but you cannot have an ar-15. you can have a six-shot revolvers but you cannot have a semi automatic handgun. you can have four or five or six rounds in your magazine but if three intruders break down your door, you cannot have 15 rounds because somebody thinks that is reasonable in their
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opinion. >> understand. >> people want to be able to protect themselves. that's why people support the second amendment and that's why these bills are so troubling. they don't hit the elite or the criminal. they hit the average hard- working taxpaying american gets stuck with the laws and regulations. >> i understand one of the bills will ban well over 2000 guns. we're talking about individual guns. >> senator feinstein boss bill bans all kind of guns that are used for target shooting and hunting and personal protection and on the other hand, she exam to guns that have the exact same -- she exempts the guns that have this -- the exact same performance characteristics as the gun she does not banned. gun owners know the truth. that's why gun owners in this country, the 100 million gun owners, get upset about this.
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they may be the victim of these lies about taking the term of salt and applying it to civilian -- the term firearms but they know the truth inherently and they look at their heads and they shake their head and they say none of this makes sense. >> i appreciate that. mr. trotter, you state that all women in jurisdictions that have concealed carry laws with the benefits of increased safety even if they choose not to carry a weapon themselves. can you please explain why? >> yes, it was mentioned that gun owners are very concerned about all these burdens that could possibly be put on law abiding citizens. you don't have to choose to carry to be the beneficiary of a law that allows people to carry. for women, you reap the benefits of a fewer murders, fewer rapes, fewer possibilities of being a victim of violence if
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the state that you live in does not ban any body, particularly women, from carrying weapons. it is a matter of choice. we are not saying that all women should or need to carry weapons but you need to protect the second amendment right to choose to defend yourself. >> thank you. mr. koppel, you wrote an article street journal." in the article, you point out that firearms are the most heavily regulated consumer product in the united states. gun-control laws are more prevalent now than in the mid- 1960's when you walk into any store and buy a semiautomatic weapon with no questions asked. in your opinion, the lack of firearms regulations is not a controlling factor to the recent rise of random-shootings.
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what factors have contributed to the rise of these mass random shootings? you may have answered this already but i would like to hear it again. could you put your microphone on? >> there is a copycat effect lots of studies of the scholars of all kinds of criminals but especially these people seeking notoriety show a strong copycat effect. that is something that makes me think we need immediate protection for schools because of the copycat danger right now. in addition, there was a an institutional causation of the mentally ill starting in the 1960's and going for the 1980's and some of that was because of budgetary issues. a lot of the time, the promise was that we will put these
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people in halfway houses so they can be partially in the community which is a great idea but then there was never the funding for the half place -- for the halfway houses and people walk away and there is nothing done to follow up. jared louoghner, adam lanzq, so many of these perpetrators absolutely would have been civilly committed under the system we had 50 years ago. we need to move back towards greater possibility for civil commitment for the dangerously violent mentally ill. both the senator from minnesota were saying that mentally ill people are not any more dangerous or violent than anyone else. there is a subset of them that are dangerously violent and mentally ill and we need to have them off the streets before that -- so they can add to it
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endanger themselves or others. -- so they cannot endanger themselves or others. >> mr. chairman, i would like to have a statement put into the record. >> that objection. and -- without its objection. -- without objection. >> thank you so much and i want to thank all of you for being here. -- there are some freedoms among considered, too. this is complex. this is not easy but i can say this -- i think this has been a pitch typically good thing and i appreciate all of you testifying. hatch. senator koons. >> thank you for convening this important. to the panel, thank you for your testimony and to captain kelly and a wonderful wife, thank you for everything you are doing to bring an important message. we as a committee are wrestling here today and we as a country
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are wrestling with how to respond appropriately and effectively to a whole string of horrific shootings weather in newtown or tucson or in any sikh temple or virginia tech, there are too many of these incidents a year upon year. i am grateful for all my colleagues who have engaged in this to our discussion today about how to balance things. one of the most important things is to get our facts right. a number of my colleagues have made a great deal of the number of cases of federal gun prosecution's going down. in the most recent report from the executive office of united states attorney and it turns out the number of defendants charged with federal gun violence is steady. -- gun violations is steady. in 2011, it was 46% higher than in 2000. i encourage all who are paying attention to the numbers. what matters is the number of defendants prosecuted with federal gun violations. i have lots of things i would
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like to touch upon and i'm grateful our vice-president, joe biden, has led a broad argument and lifted up to the folks across the country and my state of delaware. i have heard from parents whose children suffer from mental illness and who are struggling to provide the care they deserve and need. law-enforcement officials, educators, community leaders, gun owners, sportsmen, people are concerned about how we strike the right balance and how we make our country safer. if i could, to captain kelly, thank you for leading americans to responsible solution. one of the main ideas you and your wife have expanded on our background checks. how it is today that convicted felons are able to get their hands on weapons despite our current background checks laws and how can we fix them? >> currently, senator cruse earlier mentioned of the 1.9% of criminals that committed a crime with a gun are prisoners.
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i want to look at that for a second. there's also a statistic that says 80% of criminals got their guns from a private sale or transfer. by closing that part of the existing loopholes which is the fact that there is no requirement to get a background check with a private cell, you -- with a private sale, you could be effectively reduce the number of guns and hands of criminals. we know from what happened in tucson that if there was an effective background check, which includes having the mental health data and a person's drug use into the system and if, in fact, there was no gun show lupo, i would contend he would -- loophole, i
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would contend he would getting a gun. the first in the knees to be done is we need to have a universal background check. if background checks are good enough for somebody using a federal firearms are licensed dealer like wal-mart or i just purchased a got a couple of months ago, a hunting rifle, and went for a background check -- why isn't that good for other sales from a private individual or sales from somebody who is really in business at a gun show? >> captain kelley, as a gun owner yourself, how do you feel that a thorough universe a background check like you -- universal background check like you purchase of weapons or large capacity magazines -- how could that affect or in french or second amendment right. -- or in french your second amendment right. >> i don't think it would infringe my rights of all. i think i'm as strong a supporter of the second panel. i have flown 38 combat missions over iraq and kuwait defending our constitution.
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i have been shot at dozens of times. i find it interesting that often, we talk about putting a security guard to school. -- in the school. that is better than no security guard at the school but from my experience of being shot at and what that actually feels like and how chaotic it is, but with the exception of chief johnson, i would suspect that not many members of this power in this room, for that matter, have been in a fire spot. -- a fire fight. it is chaos. there is really some effective things we can do. one is the background check. let's make it difficult for the criminals, the terrorists, and the mentally ill to get a gun. agreed to co-sponsor legislation. at the outset, i am grateful for the work the nra does in providing safe gun ownership to
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millions of americans. i hope you'll take into account the data i have often gone prosecutions. i disagree with a point you made your testimony. you said that background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them. that may be true but the point that captain kelly makes is telling. if we put in place in combination tougher restrictions on straw purchases and those who buy guns legally but sell them to those who shouldn't have them and we put in place universal background checks and impose some responsibility on responsible gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons in combination, wouldn't all of these things effectively move us towards a country with a number of those who should not have weapons cannot get access? >> i think you will end up with a huge bureaucracy with a huge waste of police resources and money that could go into doing things in the police criminal
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justice area that was saved lives. -- that would save lives. the study you were talking about actually says we are criminals if we have guns. 37% are from black market. if you try to do this universe a background check which sounds what ever, it ends up being a universal federal nightmare imposed upon law-abiding people all over this country. criminals will ignore it and the federal government we already know about prosecute. -- we already know won't prosecute. the vice president at the bidding with our people said they didn't have time to process this, it goes by the cases. -- to prosecute those type of casses. -- to prosecute those type of
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cases. what is the point of all playing. whole thing? is not just closing the gun show loophole. it is also thoroughly enforcing those who transfer weapons. chief johnson, is valuable to have the input of law enforcement professionals. in book -- in your view with the background check and aggressive enforcement, would that be a waste of police resources or would that make a difference on the street? >> i have to respectfully disagree on -- with wayne on this issue. public safety, police -- we are ready. we are unified on this issue that a universal background check will make our society a safer place, will make my police officer is safer is
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absolutely essential. >> thank you, chief and thank- you to the panel. i will submit more questions for the record but i am out of time. >> again, another member of this committee, senator flake of arizona, we appreciate you being here. if it's any consolation, i have bad seed years ago. -- i had that seat years ago>> it is good to know and thank you for convening this and thinking to the panel for being here and offering excellent testimony. i especially want to thank mark for being here and i'm sure gaby is watching the proceedings. i just visited her and i want you to know and -- and her to know how much we miss her. i was on a call this morning with a few dozen ranchers, border renters in arizona, and
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-- order ranchers in arizona and practice she began years ago, to talk about immigration issues and keep them up to speed and seek their input. i have continued that practice. i can tell you she offered wonderful representation to the people of southern arizona's and she is missed. i'm grateful to you and to her for the public service you have offered in the last year under difficult circumstances and taking up this new cause so thank you. with regard to the tucson shooting, you mentioned jared loughner had had drug use in the past that might have triggered an entry into a system that he may have been checked also the mental health aspect series to bruce gude -- seems to be the difficult problem to solve. in maryland, i believe, there
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have only been 56 mental health records provided to the ncia system and arizona as 125,000 better not interfaced with the system. what are the major problems there? i will take anybody who can comment on this, perhaps chief johnson, or mark - is its sole lead a privacy issues? -- is solely privacy issues? many of those have a federal nexus and that is something we can deal with here. i am interested in in why it is so difficult to have some of the mental health records entered into the system. do you want to take this? theovernment o'malley in state of maryland last week introduced his plans to increase significantly data into the national criminal
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background check system. you are right, maryland could do much better in this area. >> is this just an issue with maryland or any other state? i am assuming it is similar to any other state. is it an issue of resources or are there privacy concerns that prevent them from offering this? 18 states to submit less than 100 records to the system. amongst the middle school community, there is even fear. how does hipaa fact this system? i believe the president's plan called for incentivizing this and it would help the problem. >> do you want to comment? >> thank you for your kind
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words. gaby misses being here as well. of the records that arizona has not submitted to the background check system, i don't know why. i imagine it could be something resources. maybe the funding is not there to have the manpower to do that. possibly, maybe there is no will. maybe for some reason in the state of arizona, maybe they don't have a desire to share that information. i don't know but after this hearing i will try to find out. i will get back to you. >> and so will i.. i think we can have a real impact here so i thank you all for your testimony. thank you. >> senator brooke mccaul, you -
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senator blumenthal, are recognized next. everybody assumes that you and i had a number of discussions about the tragedy in connecticut including one telephone call when you were about to meet i have relied a great deal on both your expertise and law enforcement background also the fact that you're from connecticut. >> thank you and want to express my appreciation to you for sensitivity and your condolences. so many of my colleagues were there and expressions we have bad this morning and for the beating this hearing which is a beginning in what i hope will be -- a call to action that newtown has begun an action that is really bipartisan.
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i think there is a real potential for high part, on grounds issue. -- for bipartisan common ground on this issue. we serve have more in common. i want to thank all the members of the panel for your patience and staying power. it has been a very informative and worthwhile hearing. but i want to say a particular thing and others have, to captain kelly and gabt giffords enter family for being here. to all the victims and their families, steve barton a victim
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from aurura is here. some of the sandy hook families are not here. if it is no objection, would like to submit the op-ed from "the new york post." -- "the washington post." >> without objection. >> to achieve johnson, you are here -- to achieve johnson -- to chief johnson you are here not only in a personal capacity but,
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in my view, as resenting and reflecting the courage and heroism the tens of thousands of law enforcement community, police and firefighters and birth responders across the -- first responders across the country who, every day braved the threat of gunfire and are often out- man the oregon by criminals. i appreciate your service to our country and i was in sandy hook at a firehouse or parents want to find out whether their children or alive. i will never forget the sights and sounds of that day when the grief and pain was expressed in the voices and faces of those parents. as much evil as the were on that day in newtown, there was also a tremendous power was a man goodness. -- tremendous her wisdom and goodness. it is the heroism and goodness of the educators also perished literally tried to save those children by putting themselves between the bullets and their children. and the heroines of the region and heroism of the first responders and police who ran
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into the building to stop the shooter not knowing he was dead and they're being they're stopped the tragedy. i want to thank the community of sandy hook. i have spent countless hours there, the better part of two weeks after the shooting and most recently, this past weekend, the dedication of a memorial and time with one of the families. their strength and courage has been an inspiration to the country and very important to advance an agenda of making our nation safer. when the way they have done that has been to create the sandy hook promise. -- one way they have done that has been to create the sandy hook promise. i would like to read the promise. we have it on a chart here. it is -- "i promise to honor
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the 26 lives lost at sandy hook elementary school. i promise to do everything i can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence. i promise this time there will be change." tens of thousands of americans from connecticut and across the country have made the sandy hook promise as an ally. -- as have i.. i want to ask mr. la irerre if i want to ask mr. lapierre, the will take the promised. >> we have advocated putting our security in the schools, fixing
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the mental health system, computerizing the records of those mentally adjudicated. karl rove we can convince some -- i would hope that we can convince some of of these companies -- i am not talking about the first amendment -- to stop putting out the violent video games and finally, we need to enforce the reasonable gun laws on but books that the nra supports. >> can i take that as a yes? >> yes, that is a yes. we have 11,000 policemen -- >> can i invite and urge you to advocate the responsible gun owners and i thank them for being responsible gun owners, also joined in the sense of promise? -- also join in the sandy hook promise? >> there is not a law-abiding firearms owner across the united states that was not torn to pieces by what happened in sandy ".
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-- in sandy hook. they just don't believe their constitutional right to own a firearm and the fact they can protect their family with a firearm results and the problem. -- in the problem. >> you and i agree there should be more prosecution of illegal gun possession and illegal gun ownership. >> i have been on this capitol hill for 20 some years agree to that and nobody does it and that's the problem. i will make you a bed right now 3 -- i will make you a bet right now -- -- when president obama leaves the office four years from now, his prosecutions will not be much different than they are now. if they did 20 per month, they would do 20,000. let's see if we get there. >> chief johnson, you have talked very persuasively on the need for better background checks. do you believe those background check should be applied to ammunition purchases as well as firearms purchases?
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>> our organization supports background checks on ammunition sales. >> iq. -- thank you. captain kelly, i'm just about out of time but i want to ask you, if i may, if you support better background checks as an advocate of the second amendment? i join you in believing that americans have a strong and robust right to possess firearms. it is below of the land. -- it is dull lot of the lab. the law of the land. do you believe that better background checks on firearm purchases would help make both arizona and our nation safer? >> absolutely, senator. while we were having this hearing, we don't know the details, but in phoenix, ariz., there is another, what seems to be possibly a shooting with multiple victims.
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it does not seem like anybody has been killed but the initial reports are three people injured in phoenix, ariz. with multiple shots fired. there are 50 or so police cars on the scene and i agree with you, sir, that universal background checks that has the mental health records in that and as the criminal records in its will go a long way to saving people's lives. >> and improving the quality of information -- absolutely >> my let me again thank the panel. my hope is that newtown will be remembered not just as a place but as a promise and that we use this tragedy as a means of transforming the debate, the discussion, the action we need to make america safer. thank you, mr. chairman. a close. i will make an exception on the
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normal rules. senator cruz one more question and we will do that and i will yield to the newest member of this committee. enter cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i thank you allowing me to ask additional questions. i want to ask the question of chief johnson. your testimony today was in tension with what i have heard from police officer serving on the ground in the state of texas, namely that your testimony, as i understand it, was, in your judgment, stricter gun control laws would prove effective in limiting crime. the data i have seen suggests that the evidence doesn't support that. if one looks in the district of columbia which had district is gun-control laws in this country -- the strictest gun
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control laws in the country and banned firearms, when the ban was implemented in 1976, there were fewer than two and -- 200 homicides and that rose to over 350 in 1988 and two over 450 in 1993. that pattern is reflected across major urban centers. these urban centers that have the strictest gun bans like the city of chicago. unfortunately, it suffers from 15.9 murders per hundred thousand sisson. -- per hundred thousand citizens. your city, the city of baltimore, has 31.3 murders per half 100,000 citizens. -- per 100,000 citizens. that contrast with other major urban areas like my home town of houston which is not have strict gun-control laws like the other jurisdictions, that has a murder rate of 9.2%, 1/3 of baltimore's. the city of boston -- the city of austin has 1/10 that a baltimore.
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in light of the evidence, what empirical data supports your contention that restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms would decrease crime rather than making people more vulnerable to violent criminals. which is what i would suggest the data indicates has happened when it has been done. >> we know that nearly 2 million gun purchases were stopped from obtaining their firearms since 1994-2009. senator, i would say that your statistics would be much greater in homicides. what is often missed is the medical intervention and takes place today from the emt in the field to shock trauma. that would be much higher.
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i am here today representing nine major police executive leadership organizations. for the sake of time, i will not read all of those. they are a matter of record the problem. in areas like baltimore, new york, chicago with some of the toughest gun regulations and laws in the nation is outside weapons coming in. it is about the background check problem. it is about the acquisition of these firearms outside the normal firearms licensed dealer. that is what we have to fix. high-capacity magazines or a problem and we are seeing assault weapons used each and every day in crimes and police are seizing these weapons each and every day. holistic way, with the plan that is laid out, we can make our nation and much safer place.
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>> thank you. we have three new members of this committee. you, senator, have the last word. >> are you saving the best for last? >> you have to prove it is the best. both to you and senator flake, i occupied the that seek to are being very patient. chairman. i would like to thank the panel for this very lively discussion subjects. captain kelly, i would like to thank you for being here because gaby and i were elected to the house of representatives in the
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same year and her courage continues to inspire us. i certainly take to heart her testimony today asking us to do something now to reduce gun violence in our country. chief johnson, you are, literally, in the trenches. you are on the firing line and i give much credence to your testimony. we have a lot of hunters in hawaii so i certainly understand their perspective. this issue is not about abrogating sacramento and our rights. -- second amendment rights. it is about reasonable limits on those rights. -- one area that has been deemed reasonable is the requirement for background checks. what many of us are saying is what already has been deemed reasonable should be a reasonable requirement when guns are sold regardless of how or where they are sold.
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i hope we can reach a bipartisan agreement on the reasonable limits requiring background checks when guns are sold. captain kelly, i do appreciate you started your testimony today by saying there is no perfect solution. there are all kinds of antecedents -- environmental issues and community issues that lead to gun violence but i believe we should do that which is reasonable because nothing is perfect. i believe one of the areas of focus for your organization, americans for responsible solutions, is the mental health part of what we should be addressing. do you have any key suggestions
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that congress can take to help address the mental illness problem? >> first of all, compelling states to share with the federal government the records, the appropriate records, of adjudicated mental illness and criminal records as well and with in the federal government. i had a conversation with the vice-president who talked specifically about inter- government agencies and why there has also been some issues in certain federal government agency at times getting the records into the background check system. if we could improve the system, close the gun show loophole, require background checks for private sellers -- i think we will go a long way to preventing many of these murders
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and the mass shootings in this country. we will not stop all of them but there is certainly a reason that we have 20 times the murder rate, 20 times the murder rate, of other developed countries. i think that is unacceptable. like you said, as an organization, i think congress can come together on this issue. realize there is a problem and it certainly can be solved. >> it is one thing when someone has already been deemed to show signs of mental ailments and if there has been an adjudication, that identification, is much easier and therefore that information should get into our system. it becomes harder when you're trying to determine whether someone is suffering from mental alma's and needs help and often -- mental illness and
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needs help and often these kind of signs manifest themselves certainly in the home but also in the schools. we don't have a lot of psychologists, therapists in our schools. would you also support more of those kinds of personnel in our individuals? >> absolutely, in the case of jared loughner in tucson, pima college was aware he had some form mental illness. he was expelled because of it. multiple cases of erratic and disruptive behavior in the classroom and out. for some reason, he was not referred, as far as i know, to inappropriate mental health authority for an evaluation. i know those of the need to be voluntary but his parents, as well. in this case, there seems there was a lack of education within the community to get him some effective treatment.
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it is release said. -- it is really sad. in his case, as in many other cases, often, you will see a man was paranoid schizophrenic that commits some of these horrific crimes. but with treatment, they would never have done these things. absolutely, we will work at americans who are responsible, -- americans for responsible solutions, we will work to fix the mental health aspect of this which is a big part of that. i agree with mr. la pierre, as a major issue but so is a comprehensive universal background check without a loophole and getting the data into the system. those are critical things that can make our communities much safer. chief johnson. this is an area that has not been raised today so far. it has to do with an environment that allows cyber- bullying to -- that allows
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cyber-bullying to occur in our schools and -- that allows bullying to occur in our schools and sometimes bullying can lead to violent situations. i'm sure it has happened in baltimore and recently in hawaii we had a situation in our schools where bullying led to fights and the school had to be closed. one of the ways we prevent escalation of violent behavior is to put in place programs that will address the issue of bullying which takes place in just about every state. do you have any thoughts on that? calls president's plan for not only funding and the announcement for additional police officers and i believe congress should support these plans -- they also call for funding to support additional counselors and psychological service providers in the schools. certainly, in my particular case and in many jurisdictions across the country, we have police officers in all the high schools and the middle schools.
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it costs about $85 million per year. in my jurisdiction alone. believe that more needs to be done in this area. in my two school shootings, in both shootings, a bully was alleged to be a factor. >> q. -- thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. i want to thank all the witnesses who came here to this lengthy hearing. i think what we are trying to do and i hope people realize on this committee that we are trying to write laws to protect the public. i cherish and exercise my second amendment rights as i do all my rights under the constitution. i don't think individual rights include weapons of war, land mines, tanks, or machine guns or rocket propelled grenades. levels.
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i came here to have a discussion and hope to build consensus. the there is more work that needs to be done. if there was one consensus, we would know what to do. it breaks all our hearts. i am one hour's drive from another country, canada. i don't see the same kind of problem there. i want to find out how we can stop what is happening. i believe there should be some areas of agreement. the committee can get tomorrow and mark up legislation for next month. this month is virtually over. and then take it to the floor. we will respect the diversity of viewpoints expressed today. we will have hearings that will have other viewpoints.
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but we have to listen to one another. we have or the kind of violence we have seen. we have for the kind of violence we have seen --we abhor the kind of violence we have seen. very much. we stand in recess. national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [no audio] [no audio]
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[no audio] today, a hearing on u.s. workers and retirement savings. that will be at 10:00 a.m. eastern on cspan 3. live on book-tv.org, a conversation with retired general stemming a crystal. he is interviewed by author and journalist mark bowden about his career and time in charge of u.s. forces in afghanistan, live today at noon eastern on book- tv.org. >> at age 65, she was the
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oldest first lead when her husband became president but she never set foot in washington. her husband, benjamin harrison, died one month after his inauguration. meet anna harrison and the other first ladies in the new original series "first ladies: influence and emblidge." it is produced with the white house historical society. is february 13 at 9:00 p.m. on cspan, cspan radio, and c- span.org. >> enough today on c-span, "washington journal" is at the washington auto show. at 9:30, the senate armed services committee hears from chuck hegel. at 2:00 p.m. eastern, outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton leaves the council on foreign relations.